Thursday, November 08, 2007

Thursday 11/08 A.M. Quickie:
Gardner Webb, AD, Rocket, BlogPoll, More!

Today's Names to Know: Gardner Webb, Adrian Peterson, Chris Henry, Roger Clemens, Tom Glavine, Al Horford, Deron Williams, Mike Modano and More!

College Hoops: Kentucky stunned in a loss to Gardner Webb. No, seriously: Gardner Webb. By 16. In Lexington.

Be honest If Tubby Smith had still been UK's coach and lost to Garner Webb – Gardner Webb – he would have been fired this morning.

New coach Billy Gillispie gets a little more wiggle room in only his second game, but it can't possibly be comfortable right now. This ain't losing to Tennessee or Florida.

For the record, Gardner Webb was 9-21 last year, with a stirring 7th place finish in the mighty Atlantic Sun Conference.

(Hell, no more jokes about either Gardner Webb or the Atlantic Sun: Not when they can waltz into Lexington and walk out with a win.)

But one can only imagine how Ashley Judd is feeling this morning. No, seriously, take a few minutes and imagine....

NFL: More on Adrian Peterson, in a must-read from Darren Rovell.

NFL: Chris Henry was involved in ANOTHER problem? Ironically, it was right before his 8-game suspension was supposed to be lifted. It's like spitting in the face of the parole board the night before your release from prison.

Looks like Roger Clemens is ready to retire: His agent told the Astros that he wants to pursue his personal-services deal with the team. Presumably, if the Astros were contenders next season, Clemens would contemplate coming out of retirement (for a price, of course).

MLB Hot Stove: Is Tom Glavine going back to the Braves? That would be kind of cool, actually.

A-Rod Watch: The Angels admit they are interested, and simultaneously somewhere else in America, Scott Boras adjusts himself.

The Yankees' new Boss makes a statement: Hammerin' Hank says that the Yankees' "Big Three" of young pitching (Chamberlain, Hughes, Kennedy) are untouchable in trades. What a difference a generation makes.

CFB Tonight: Louisville at West Virginia. I said this in my Deadspin post this week: Remember in August when you looked ahead to this game and thought the winner was going to be a lock to be one half of the national-championship pairing? Louisville kind of mucked that up, but it still represents a big game: If UL pulls the upset, it pulls WVU from the BCS discussion for good; if WVU wins, even though UL isn't exactly a high-quality opponent this year, beating them has the cachet of a high-quality win. Pick: West Virginia.

Meanwhile, this week's BlogPoll Top 25 analysis was posted by BlogPoll executive Brian Cook of the great MGoBlog and AOL Fanhouse.

Reminder: Head on over to my blog at coachoftheyear.com (a special partnership between me and the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award) and have your say as the LMCOY race heads into its final stretch. Do you agree with my assessment that Mark Mangino should be leading the race right now? Go to the LMCOY blog and leave a comment.

NBA Wrap: Hey, maybe the Hawks' solid preseason WAS foreshadowing of a team on the rise. Atlanta beat Phoenix (Phoenix! Albeit without Amare), attributed mainly to strong rebounding (if so, give credit to rookie Al Horford, who had 15 rebounds and already looks like a top rebounding power forward).

Meanwhile, the Celtics' Big Three is every bit as good (and dominant) as fans had thought (even expected) them to be. Another night, another win. Plus: Deron Williams is Utah's hero against the LeBrons.

Durant Watch: 17 points on 3/17 FG shooting (ouch!) and yet another Sonics loss. Good thing it's not about the wins and losses this year for Seattle, just developing Durant and getting ready for the move.

NHL Milestone Watch: Mike Modano breaks the all-time scoring record for US-born players. I'm still trying to figure out how/why this matters, aside from highlighting that hockey isn't really a US sport.

Olympics: So China says that, in fact, Bibles will NOT be banned in the Olympic Village next year. That's nice to know.

Strat-O-Matic '86 Update: No game last night. Series resumes against the Cardinals tonight.

-- D.S.

74 comments:

pv845 said...

With regards to the Celtics Big 3, I don't think anyone sees there being a problem with them now. I see a problem with them in March and April when they have played 44 minutes out of every game.

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

So wait...I don't get it. I read the Wikipedia entry on Strat-o-Matic and amd still confused. Does it involve rolling a pair of dice? If so, who rolls the die?

Geoff said...

I don't think anyone thought that Louisville or West Virginia were a lock for one half of the National Championship pairing. I don't think most people thought either team really had a chance.

And boy, Durant sure does shoot a lot.

rafael said...

Actually Dan, only you were high on Louisville in this blog. But noone expected them to fall THIS low.

College basketball...where upsets are more common and more awesome, because you can enjoy them without necessarily worrying that the victim's season is over.

Big D said...

So... MLB had the season of the milestone/record breaker. NBA is/was planning to have the next great debate about Oden/Durant (that kind of got sidetracked)... NFL has the season of dominance.

Do all college sports by default have to have the "Season of Upsets"?


P.S. Roger's done. He'll be golfing out the rest of his days, and throwing at his kids' head in BP.

Luke Bell said...

"Cachet" of a big win? Louisville has lost 4 times, including a home game against vaunted Syracuse. This is the sort of thing that makes people question your polls week in and week out Dan.

Matt T said...

Not to mention 2 straight sell outs at home for the Hawks. This was in the AP's recap of the game:
"After Horford made a mistake at the defensive end, coach Mike Woodson called the first-round pick over for a quick lecture. “He’s a rookie,” one fan yelled. Then another, clearly a fan of the Georgia Bulldogs, chimed in, “Come on, he’s from Florida.” Woodson smiled at that one. "

Dan said...

I think Hibbert would fit in better with a different offense...

Yeah, upsets "don't matter", but the Big Ten better get a good win OOC soon...

Cody said...

Celtics - In March when they go into the Texas Triangle and play Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio and come out 3-0 then I'll be impressed, until then...

CMFost said...

I think Darren Rovell is wrong about Peterson. I just took a look at the 3 fantasy football leagues I am in and in not one of them does the 1st place team have Peterson.

Mark said...

And in the 2 I'm in the first place guy has Petersen, so there's your 40%.

Beetle said...

PV845,
I don't think minutes are going to be a big issue.
The big three played 30, 33, and 36 minutes last night.
They only time any of them has eclipsed the 40 minute mark this season was the OT game against Toronto.
In other words, their minutes are no different then any other starter's minutes in the league.
What you don't understand is that all three of these guys are used to going it alone every night. Where every single play would run through them.
What is going on now is like a vacation for all three of them.

Mark said...

And it's not like Rovell is actually predicting that 40%, he's simply stating the opinion of a fantasy "guru" so it wouldn't be Rovell that is wrong. The fantasy section takes up about 1/10th of that article so to focus on it misses the entire point of the article.

Jingoist said...

Is it only me who finds it ironic there is more of an uproar over Kentucky losing to a Mid-Major than there was a mere 24 hours ago over a D-II school upsetting Ohio State? At least GW (ha) is a D-I program.

This fully supports my argument yesterday that the gap in hoops from player to player, level to level is marginal at best.

Here's my response to the upsets... yyyaaaaaaaaaaaawwwn.

Lawdog1214 said...

I have peterson and tomlinson and I'm not in first place.

bkelly126 said...

according to Yahoo's keys to success, of the top 500 Public teams, AD is in 52%. The guy who has him in my league is in last place.

Geoff said...

I drafted Peterson late in my big money FF league. I am in first place.

Mark said...

Good lord we're not really gonna go over that status of every Peterson owner are we?

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

Rovell mentions Brady as the other player that a lot of 1st place teams have. Did you look at that?

We have to ask Dan if it was Florida losing to Gardner-Webb what would be his response? I am sure we would see a number of excuses from him.

eileen said...

As for the Cetlics, I agree with beetle's analysis. I was at the game last night, and they were absolutely dominant, right from the start. Yes, the tough teams in the West will be a real test, but AI, Carmelo, and K Mart aren't too shabby, and the Ceatles destroyed them.

Beetle said...

Come on Cody,
Nobody goes on the road to the Texas and comes out 3-0.
I bet they do come out 2-1 though.
Besides, by the time they make that trip in mid-March, the C's could have close to 50 wins under their belts already.

Beetle said...

Eileen,
Agreed.
I watched that entire game last night.
It was a destruction.
Denver was never in the game.

Beetle said...

CM,
Agreed regarding Peterson.
I have him, LT, AND Marshawn Lynch in my league, and I am just hovering above .500.
The first place team has Brady, Moss, and Welker.
Of course, that team is going to get crushed this week.

GuyInTheCorner said...

STUDS
1. David West - 14/26 FG, 6/6 FT, 18 REB (8 O-REB), 34 PTS
2. LeBron James - 12/27 FG, 15 REB, 13 AST, 3 STL, 2 BLK, 32 PTS
3. Sam Cassel - 13/20 FG, 2/4 3PT, 7/8 FT, 3 REB, 8 AST, 2 STL, 35 PTS
4. Kevin Garnett - 10/14 FG, 3/4 FT, 13 REB, 7 AST, 4 STL, 23 PTS
5. Steve Nash - 12/19 FG, 7/10 3PT, 3/3 FT, 5 REB, 11 AST, 34 PTS

Honorary Stud: Deron Williams - GW lay-up with 1.3 sec.

DUDS
1. Peja Stojakovic - 2/13 FG, 0/0 FT, 2 REB, 0 AST, 5 PTS, 35 MIN
2. Jason Richardson - 2/15 FG, 0/4 3PT, 0/0 FT, 5 REB, 2 AST, 3 STL, 3 PF, 5 TO, 4 PTS, 34 MIN
3. Jeff McInnis - 1/6 FG, 0/0 FT, 1 REB, 2 AST, 4 PF, 5 TO, 2 PTS, 23 MIN
4. Linas Kleiza - 0/2 FG, 0/1 3PT, 0/0 FT, 0 REB, 1 AST, 2 TO, 0 PTS, 22 MIN
5. Michael Finley - 2/8 FG, 0/5 3PT, 0/2 FT, 4 REB, 1 AST, 3 TO, 4 PTS, 24 MIN

voiceofreason said...

There is no real comparison for the makeup of this Celtics team, so only time will tell whether they can hold up. The Big 3 are playing fewer minutes per game right now than they have in the past, but they're also older now. They sure were impressive last night though.

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

Hey Shanoff,

Can you go on a writer's strike so I can take over the blog? I am going to miss new episodes of the Office.

Natsfan74 said...

The biggest difference between the two Big 10 teams losing to DII schools and Kentucky losing last night is that the Kentucky game counts. It is a real game, with real consequences (it will weight out in both of their RPIs all season). So, when tournament seeding time, Kentucky will feel this one. The B10 teams lost in glorified scrimmage games. Unfortunate, yes, but really -- who cares. If they both win their games in the B10/ ACC challenge, or both start out strong, we'll forget the DII practice in short order. But, Kentucky's loss will trail them all season.

But, funny enough, this loss came across as an anomoly, rather than an indictment on SEC basketball. But, the OSU/MSU losses proved the B10 is overrated or something....

GuyInTheCorner said...

Speaking of the ACC/Big 10 Challenge....

Who thinks the Big 10 could actually win this year? I don't. The ACC is showing no signs of giving up the top spot in terms of conference strength pound for pound.

Did you know that Michigan State is 5-4 in the ACC/B10 Challenge and they are the only B10 team with a winning record?!?

The ACC has never los the Challenge and has the advantage this year as Miami is up in the rotation to sit out. The match-ups are:

November 26
Wake Forest at Iowa, 7:00 PM, ESPN2

November 27
Georgia Tech at Indiana, 7:00 PM, ESPN
Minnesota at Florida State, 7:30 PM, ESPN2
Northwestern at Virginia, 8:00 PM, ESPNU
Wisconsin at Duke, 9:00 PM, ESPN
Purdue at Clemson, 9:30 PM, ESPN2

November 28
N.C. State at Michigan State, 7:00 PM, ESPN
Illinois at Maryland, 7:30 PM, ESPN2
Boston College at Michigan, 8:00 PM ESPNU
North Carolina at Ohio State, 9:00 PM, ESPN
Virginia Tech at Penn State, 9:30 PM, ESPN2

Jingoist said...

If every game is out of reach for the Celts by the 4th quarter, then the Big 3 may be more rested than we expect come April/May.

And by the looks of the East, it's even weaker this season than last. Although I do like that Atlanta looks hungry with a young nucleus. Nice to see a new story in a snooze-fest conference.

Dan, when you mock Modano's record, you are slighting some of the greatest players ever to play the game before him. Remember, before the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of Communism in Russia, there weren't any European players in the NHL. It was strictly a Canada/U.S. league.

And with Canadians absolutely dominating the NHL for decades, if you were a Joe Mullen, Pat LaFontaine, or Phil Housley, then you were elite. To be the U.S.-born scoring leader, puts you in a fraternity of players that is very small, but extremely gifted.

And Modano is part of that group of "kids" that are products of the success off the 1980 Olympic team. U.S. hockey took on a whole new competitive expectation after '80. To come out on top of an era that produced guys like Roenick, Chelios, Weight, Tkachuk, and Amonte speaks for itself. The bottom line is the record displays his skill and how he's endured for nearly 2 decades in a very physical sport.

Sorry, but I get a little defensive about criticism of hockey. I too grew up playing in the wake of the 1980's Olympics, and while I don't like how the NHL has declined in a variety of ways in the past decade, I take exception to mocking the merits of a very skilled athlete- hockey or otherwise.

Hockey is a great sport- to play as a kid and come up through the ranks you see how difficult it is to make that next leap to pro. It's a ridiculous chasm- MUCH wider than skill differences between basketball players or even football players. But you don't know that unless you've played, so I (to a degree) understand the ignorance.

Natsfan74 said...

What do Fernando Valenzuela, Carlos Zambrano, Andres Galarraga, and Vinny Castillo all have in common? They hold major league records for being the most to do "something" from their respective countries, while playing MLB (an American sport). Modano's record is just as important. He is the leader among a group of very talented US Born players who have come before him. So, he might not be the all-time leader of anything, but he is clearly one of the all-time bests.

voiceofreason said...

The ACC won every single ACC-Big East Challenge back in the day, and also has never lost an ACC-Big Ten Challenge. ACC should win handily this year. The only losses I see are Georgia Tech, NC State and maybe BC. I'd love to see an ACC-SEC or ACC-Pac 10 Challenge.

Jingo - not sure why you think the East looks weaker this season. Is it just because Wiz, Bulls and Heat are starting slow? The Pistons will be a test for the Celtics, and the Magic are on the rise.

blue said...

Face it the celtics just are not very good, who have they played yet? No one.

And if you are not dominating your league with Peterson then you should not be playing fantasy football.


Oh again, sorry for bill yesterday, sometimes it is hard to control my lemmings.

Mark said...

The Celtics have played three playoff teams from last season. They haven't played anyone elite yet but to say they've played no one is inaccurate.

CMFost said...

Question: Aren't the Nuggets supposed to be good? They sure did not look like a good team last night.

Mark said...

Part of the reason the Nuggets looked so bad last night was they played an "emotionally draining" game in New York the night before.

voiceofreason said...

Nuggets miss Steve Blake. They wanted him to stay, but he wanted to go back to Portland. He is a pure point guard, which is something they sorely lack.

Jingoist said...

voice- I do not dispute the Pistons are good. I just feel the overall depth of the East is pitiful and very limited in bringing anything competitive to the table 1 through 8 (playoff-caliber teams only, I won't even discuss 1 through 15). Which leads me to...

Mark- beating Eastern Conf. playoff teams from a year ago is not saying much. And the other team was Denver, an also-ran in the West. Hey, I like the Celtics, am New England born and bred, but I am still waiting to see this team's results around, say, Christmas before I pass judgment.

voiceofreason said...

Jingo - I think I agree with you. I think up top the East can compete with the West. At the bottom, I think this year the West has more truly bad teams than the East. But in the middle (playoff seeds 5-8 plus teams hanging around outside the playoffs), I agree that the West is better and therefore deeper.

Mark said...

I'm not passing judgement and marking down a spot in the finals for them or anything but the fact is they have looked impressive in the three games they've played. Of course it's way to early too predict how the rest of the season is going to play out and I'm not saying otherwise.

CMFost said...

We should remember that they have only played 3 games they still have 79 left. If they stay healthy the Celtics should do no worse then make it to the Eastern Conference Finals.

CMFost said...

that beeping sound you hear coming from Florida is the sound of Don Shula backpeddling.

Beetle said...

Jingoist,
Yes, you should wait til Christmas to pass judgment, but you should start watching every game right now.
Based on their schedule, the C's COULD be 20-5 by Christmas.
That's not a prediction, but I'd be pretty shocked if they were below 16-9.

blue said...

cumfast, i'm only gonna warn you one time...stop impersonating me, or I will shut this blog down every day.


and for those of you not "in the know" it's your beloved cmfost who has been the retard the last 2 days that got Dan to shut off the comments.

THERE IS ONLY ONE BLUE

Jingoist said...

beetle- make no mistake, I do watch them. Again, I'm a New England guy- I watch my teams Game 1's, Game 16's, Game 82's, Game 162's, and everything in between. Not a fairweather bone in my body. Hell, I even watch the Bruins!

(The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.)

The Legend of Vincent Tremblay said...

Dan, just shut up about hockey, OK? The "nobody likes hockey" talking point gets more insulting every single time I hear it.

CMFost said...

jingo, I praise you, I am a huge Hockey fan and at this time I have trouble sitting through a Bruins game. It kills me to watch them be this bad. I really hope Chirelli starts making some trades and gets someone who can score a goal.

Plus I do not know about you but I do not like the new NHL. There is not enough hitting.

Beetle said...

Jinhoist,
Yeah, I am pretty much the same way, although I've boycotted the Bruins ever since they traded Thornton.
A franchise can only take a dump on it's fan-base for so long.

chitown italian said...

Go Cubbies beat the Cards!

Richard K. said...

DS,

When I imagine Ashley Judd, her personal feelings rarely come into play. Just saying.

By the way, anyone think a Fantasy team featuring Willie Parker, Larry Fitzgerald, Donald Driver, Santana Moss, Peyton Manning, Thomas Jones, and Vincent Jackson would have looked good at the beginning of the year? Oops! Good thing I got Marshawn Lynch to head my keepers next year.

By the way. Who would you rather have? A-Rod for 30 million per year or Miguel Cabrera for 12 million per year?

CMFost said...

By the way. Who would you rather have? A-Rod for 30 million per year or Miguel Cabrera for 12 million per year?



I would go for the younger player in Cabrera

voiceofreason said...

The difference is, A-Rod is a free agent. You've got to give up talent to trade for Cabrera.

Beetle said...

Regarding Cabrera,
No doubt that 12 million is a good price for him, but he worries me for 2 reasons;

1. He has a reputation for being lazy and having a poor attitude. I do not know enough to say whether that is justified or not.

2. I have severe doubts about his actually age. I would guess he is closer to 27 than 24.

Travis said...

A Rod because it will cost Buchholz, Ellsbury and more to get Cabrera.

Besides Boston has said their interest in Cabrera would be as a 1st baseman.

Joseph said...

Hockey? I thought they were on strike and canceled the season.

CycleDan said...

voice of reason

Absolutely not true. When they had the Big East ACC challenge which only lasted for two years I believe, it ended up in a dead tie.

voiceofreason said...

I could be wrong - wouldn't be the first time. They played for 2 or 3 years, and I thought the ACC always won. Maybe not. Either way, the ACC-Big Ten thing has got to go if the Big Ten is never going to win.

Beetle said...

Travis,
Hahaha...a future Cy Young winner and a future MVP for a lazy, underachieving, soon to be 1st baseman/DH.

That is the exact type of trade that the Sox have NOT been making which has been a big part of their recent success.

The heroin sheik said...

I think Dan like most gator fans do not expect much out of them this year. Let's face it we lost five guys who played amazing together. It wouldn't be much of a shock if we lost to a team like GW. I dont know about the rest of Gator nation but I figure if we make the tournament and flame out the first weekend the season will have been a success. Even i am not so big a homer to think they stand at chance at a 3peat.

Mark said...

I think it'd be nearly impossible to find a big enough homer to think a team could repeat after losing the entire starting five, lol.

Natsfan74 said...

Between Cabrera and ARod, I take ARod. No one is going to tune in to the cable network or buy tickets just to come see Cabrera. ARod will generate more in revenue than he does in wins (especially in the post season....).

The ACC likes the Big 10 challenge because it helps them reach markets they otherwise wouldn't (like adding BC and Miami). Illinois and Indiana are to college BB what Florida and Texas are to FB. Add in Detroit and Minneapolis, and the ACC is getting some great exposure in new markets. And, if you think every kid knows "Duke and UNC", it's not as true as you think. Yeah, I saw them in the tourney as a kid (I think 3 final 4's and a championship when I was in HS), but the regularly televised games there were always B10 schools. I maybe saw 5 Duke games a year, and 25 Illinois games (not by choice!).

Finally, I agree on Florida losing a lot off of their championship teams so expectations should be shifted. Dan doesn't give the same leeway to the Ohio State basketball team (trashing them yesterday) or even the same credit to the football team (they're probably better this year with only 2 seniors). Great teams have to rebuild sometimes. Great programs always reload.

Travis said...

beetle..

Exactly thats why its more likely the sox got A Rod then Cabrera, there not gonna give what the Marlins want for him.

CycleDan said...

I would be really surprised if the Red Sox sign A-Rod. They won 2 World Series while the Yanks didn't win one with A-Rod. You might say that was pitching and not hitting. However the Red Sox were able to afford one more pitcher since they didn't have A-Rod's salary. You could also make the argument if A-Rod didn't flame out in the postseason, Yanks would have advanced.

Interesting that the Yanks have never won with Mattingly as a player or coach. Will they win it all the first year after Mattingly leaves as a coach since they won in 96, the first year after he left as a player?

Beetle said...

Hey Travis,
Sorry, I should have clarified that I understood and agreed with you.
I don't want you to think my mocking tone was directed at you.
If I was Theo, I wouldn't trade either Clay or Jacoby for Cabrera, never mind both of them.
Clay's stuff is just silly, and his fastball is only going to gain MPHs as he matures.

CMFost said...

What I heard them talking about on sportsradio yesterday was Youk and Lester for Cabrera with the possiblity of throwing in a Masterson or Bowden

CMFost said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
voiceofreason said...

Maybe I'm just sick of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge because Maryland seems to play Illinois every damn year.

Natsfan74 said...

@Cycledan

Now you pose an interesting dilemma for me. I went to HS near Mattingly's hometown and have always been a huge fan. I really wanted to see him win a championship.

Before your post, my 2nd greatest baseball wish was for the Yankees to win the World Series in the first year post ARod, as a great screw you to him. But, I now am a bit more ambivalent. I would hate for Donnie Baseball to miss out on this right now too. Especially not if that will be the perception.

Mark said...

cmfost,

Even as a Patriots fan I find it incredibly annoying that you just posted that Tom Brady stat. Seriously, everyone knows he's on record setting pace and everyone knows he spreads the ball out.

Ryan said...

I agree with everything that jingoist said about hockey.

I get sick and tired of the constant hockey jokes. Do people even know what they are mocking when they mock it? It seems that hockey has become such an easy joke, that I honestly wonder if anyone who cracks a joke about it has watched it or been to a game.

Mike Modano's record is a great feat. Some of the names he has passed on his way to the top of the list are legends and an integral part of the NHL's past success.

Obvoiusly no one will ever break Wayne Gretzky's scoring marks. So to be the top American scorer, is quite an honor I'd say.

Not that I expect you to stop your stereotypical jokes to acknowledge that.

chipp said...

If anyone tunes in to see Durant, keep an eye on Chris Wilcox - Probalby the best Sonic this year.

CMFost said...

off topic but If any of you are like me and are part of the middle class you need to check out my blog and sign the petition regarding the Alternative Minimum Tax going away.


Check it out, Thanks

voiceofreason said...

Chipp - you're absolutely right. Combination of bad work ethic and being stuck on the bench behind Elton Brand doomed Wilcox in LA, but he's been great since the trade to Seattle.

Seattle will be bad this year, but they have two solid building blocks in Durant and Wilcox.

They need some backcourt help badly.

chipp said...

Watson, West, and Ridnour are pretty awful. They have some sporadic scoring ability, but none of them RUN the offense and get others involved. It was painful watching last night.

Erik said...

David Stern says the NBA will not return to Seattle if the Sonics leave. Well fuck Mr. Stern and fuck his league. Association. Whatever. If the NBA wasn't dead to me from the Amare/Diaw SNAFU, then it would be now.